On October 1, merchants were required to have special new creditand debit card payment terminals in place that are designed toaccept special "chip" credit and debit cards.

The updated cards, which are known as EMV (Europay, MasterCardand Visa) have small chips that communicate unique data with eachand every transaction. These new cards require a special type ofpayment terminal to process these transactions.

The technology is designed to prevent card theft from Internetthieves who seek to hack into terminals and steal credit and debitcard information. A specially-designed chip that is embedded in thecard can be read only once, thus reducing the opportunity for fraudfrom theft. That is, if a hacker tries to use stolen chipinformation from a specific point of sale, the stolen transactionnumber that is created for the fraudulent charge cannot be used asecond time. Thus, the transaction will be declined.

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